Brits finalize Egypt loan guarantee
LONDON — Britain on Saturday finalized a $150 million loan guarantee to Egypt, where Boris Johnson was on his first visit to the country as foreign secretary and as a human-rights organization urged him to speak about what they described as “appalling” abuses.
In a statement, the foreign office said Johnson and President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi discussed British support for Egypt’s economy including joint work on aviation security, anti-terrorism efforts, and work to resolve regional conflicts especially in Libya and Syria, adding that human rights and the benefits of a free society to promote stability and economic growth were mentioned.
Earlier, the human-rights organization Reprieve urged Johnson to speak about the abuses it described, including the case of Irish national Ibrahim Halawa, who was 17 when arrested and imprisoned in Cairo in 2013. Halawa was detained in a mosque near Ramses Square as the Muslim Brotherhood held a “day of rage” over el-Sissi’s ouster of his predecessor, the Islamist Mohamed Morsi.
Reprieve’s Harriet McCulloch had implored Johnson to “urge el-Sissi to end these appalling abuses, and free Ibrahim and the many like him.”